Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gifted geeks: The emergence and development of computer technology talent
by O'Brien, Brenna C., Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2007, 252; 3267198
Abstract (Summary)

This study explored the development of computer technology talent (CTT) in the field of gifted education. Based on Feldman's (1994) co-incidence theory, the four time frames have crystallized at the end of the 21st century to produce conditions for CTT to emerge: (1) individual life span, (2) development of the field, (3) historical and cultural trends, and (4) evolutionary time. Within this framework the research question was asked: “What cognitive and affective qualities and life events mark the development of CTT?” Using qualitative study methods, interview data were collected from four different age groups and time periods: Historical (Sample 1), Snapshot (Sample 2), Longitudinal (Sample 3), and Contemporary (Sample 4). Gagné's (2003) Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) was used after the initial analysis to structure the data into the categories of natural abilities, intrapersonal catalysts, environmental catalysts, and talent activities. Findings were discussed in terms of developmental patterns and recurring trends between samples, reflected in their histories with computing, environmental support, and key educational experiences. Results provide evidence that CTT should be recognized as a distinct talent area within the gifted field. Suggestions for educational policy and practice are made for teachers and parents of children with CTT. Alternative assessments and resources need to be made available in schools to recognize this new way of thinking in the digital age.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Friedman-Nimz, Reva
Commitee: Baym, Nancy, Jorgensen, Karen, Mahlios, Marc, McKnight, Phil
School: University of Kansas
Department: Curriculum and Teaching
School Location: United States -- Kansas
Source: DAI-A 68/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Special education, Curricula, Teaching, Vocational education
Keywords: Computer technology, Geeks, Gifted, Technology talent
Publication Number: 3267198
ISBN: 9780549059349
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